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Groovy (or, less common, "Groovie" or "Groovey") is a slang colloquialism popular during the 1960s and 1970s. It is roughly synonymous with words such as "cool", "excellent", "fashionable", or "amazing", depending on context.

The word originated in the jazz culture of the 1920s, in which it referred to the groove of a piece of music[1] and the response felt by its listeners. It is a reference to the physical groove of a record in which the pick-up needle runs. Popular culture heard it at least as early as 9/30/41 on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show, when band leader Billy Mills, used it to describe his summer vacation. 1942 movie 'Miss Annie Rooney' features a teenage Shirley Temple using the term as she impresses Dickie Moore with her jive talk & jitterbug moves. It first appeared in print in Really the Blues, the 1946 autobiography of the jazz saxophonist, Mezz Mezzrow.[2] The word appears in advertising spots for the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street. The term in its original usage had largely vanished from everyday use by 1980.[3]

In a 1947 78 rpm recording of "Open The Door, Richard" sung by Walter Brown with Tiny Grimes Sextet, 'Richard' says "... and everything's groovy!" when refusing to open the door.

Starting in the 1960s, variations of the word "Groovy" were used in the titles of several popular songs, including:

The cover of the original 1965 release of the single "The Sound of Silence", backed with "We've Got a Groovey Thing Goin'."

The term was also part of the title of a TV program called Groovy Show, which ran from 1967–1970. There was also an American TV cartoon show called Groovie Goolies, which ran from 1970–1972.

It later made its way into the titles of albums, such as Groovy Decay, a 1982 album by Robyn Hitchcock, and Groovy, Laidback and Nasty, a 1990 album by Cabaret Voltaire. Examples of band names include Groovy Aardvark from Canada, the The Groovy Little Numbers from Scotland, and Groovy Rednecks and the Flamin' Groovies from the USA.

By the early 1970s, the word was commonplace in American TV commercials aimed at young audiences, as exemplified by the slogan "Feeling groovy, just had my Cheerios."

Marvel Comics produced a Silver Age comic book entitled Groovy, subtitled "Cartoons, gags, jokes". Only three issues were produced, dated March 1967, May 1967 and July 1967.

An early ironic use of the term appears in the title of the 1974 film The Groove Tube. The term was later used jokingly in films such as Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, and the Austin Powers films.


  1. ^ "The Mavens' Word of the Day". May 5, 1997. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Mezz Mezzrow - Really The Blues". Shades Of Blue. May 23, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  3. ^ "Groovy - Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2011-04-15.